Overcoming Depression

I’ve been in a bit of a funk as of late, my friends. I realized how bad it was getting a few days ago when the old man called from work to ask if I’d like to go out to shoot some 8-ball and drink some pitcher beer when he got home, and I told him I’d think about it. Think about it? I have to think about doing something I love that he only takes me out to do maybe twice a year! WTF? The worst part was I said no after he got home. I just didn’t feel like leaving the house. Didn’t feel like leaving it, but apparently don’t feel like cleaning it either, because it’s in complete disarray. It seems I have little motivation to do anything anymore.

At first I blamed my being listless and not eating on the current heatwave and the fact I’m cooped up inside. Now I’m beginning to think it’s more than that, and have to accept that I am once again battling this demon of mine called Depression. I know this because it has been my nemesis for many years now, and I’m all too familiar with its presence. The first sign is that I lose the desire to do anything…and I have. I would love to say that this time away from blogging has been spent pounding away on my keyboard working on my novel, or doing some cosmetic repairs to my home as I’d planned, but it hasn’t; I’ve literally been wiling away hours reading in bed, surfing the internet looking at rural, historic, New England properties, daydreaming of a life completely different than the one I’m forced to now live, and have only some floral drapes I altered to replace my closet doors to show for this lost time. There is no other explanation but that I’ve begun to fall into this dark cavity again. I hate to admit this. To do so means to accept that I’m currently stuck and am no longer moving forward.

I go through these periods occasionally. I suppose this is why I understand others that battle this illness all too well. Our minds can be so deceptive and unforgiving at times, can’t they? The tricky part is recognizing it when it first begins to happen, not letting the destructive thoughts get the best of you, and allow yourself time to work things out without self-judgment. I know none of us want to feel this way, contrary to what other ‘healthy’ people may think. The very worst thing we can hear is “Snap out of it!”, as if we choose to feel this way and can somehow just make the decision not to. These ‘seemingly’ innocent words can trigger tremendous guilt and find us no longer feeling responsible for trying to just fix ourselves and feel better, but now feel responsible for the way others feel as well. Like performers in a circus we feel compelled to please those around us by pretending to be happy, healthy, and whole when we’re not. This, at a time when we should be concentrating on dealing with our emotions so that we can feel that way.

Perhaps my biggest challenge is to refrain from over-correcting and placing unnecessary expectations on myself. I have a tendency to push myself to meet the tasks at hand, although I’m incapable of doing so when I go through one of my ‘spells’. I have to give myself permission to let the housework go, to be inactive on my blog, to not have to interact with others if I don’t wish. I need time to quiet the screaming words of doubt that are going on inside of me, and find stillness in solace.

I know this will pass. It always does. I’m sure menopause is a contributing factor, as well as being restless right now and desiring change though one doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. I have this gnawing need to better myself, to stop settling for less, to have more and live an abundant life, and these things are forcing me to reexamine my current situation and is making it difficult to just be Me anymore. I’m hoping that sometime in the future a happy compromise can be reached.

I wanted to share this with you to let you know that yes, even Pissy has moments of sadness, desperation, and doubt; she battles clinical depression. Medication is helpful, but can only go so far. Being a pain-in-the-ass and having iron skin is nothing more than a disguise that some of us wear to protect ourselves, but unfortunately we can’t always cloak ourselves in. There are those moments that we have to allow the other side of ourselves to show through. I suppose this is mine. I hope in doing so it might give others that may be going through something similar right now permission to also take care of themselves. To know that the only responsibility you have right now is to yourselves, and you’re not expected to appease others anymore than someone sick with cancer should be expected to make things easier on those around them. What you’re feeling…dealing with…is very real to you, and should be treated with respect. Know also that this too shall pass, it is not the end of the world, and you just have to give yourself the time and attention you need to get over the hump…so to speak. 

So in closing let me just say in case you’re wondering, Pissy is fine and is just taking some time to think things through and fix herself. And all of you probably thought there was nothing going on upstairs! Fooled ya, didn’t I? Oh, and I wanted to update you on how Hound Dog is doing: He got through being snipped, the husband picked him up Saturday from the vet and he’s now home recuperating, but refuses to look either of us in the eye and only gets out of bed from beneath his covers to go potty and eat. Think he’s mad much? Ha..ha..

Love you all. Big hugs from me to you!

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33 Comments on “Overcoming Depression”

  1. hugs my dear friend 🙂 you are one smart lady, don’t ever forget that, you will pull through it, sometimes the downtime is exactly what we need.

    • So sorry, so late with the reply. I try to do a little here, and a little there, but I’m afraid I’m so far behind that trying to catch up is impossible. I know the downtime is good, but yikes…the comeback is exhausting.
      I hope things are going well for you and yours, and you’re getting that sunshine you wanted so bad. ((lightbulb moment)) Maybe that’s my problem. I need to get some Vitamin D from some sunshine. Hmm..

  2. As you know, I also have struggled with the darkness of depression, and almost lost my life to its clutches.
    I hear you when you say that meds are only a partial help, but if you haven’t had a review recently please do. Hormone changes can mess with your brain chemistry enough that medication adjustments are needed.
    It is far better to catch this early if that were to be the case.
    Our brains have a way of altering our perception so that everything looks dark, almost as if we were unable to remove a pair of sunglasses, but that viewpoint is distorted and does not properly resemble reality.
    Hang in there, Kitty, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. We are pulling for you!
    Jodi

    • I have been thinking it’s probably time for me to go in and talk to my doc about this menopause shit. I get really, reeeally depressed right around the time I start. And it seems to be getting worse and worse. And yeah, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to get an evaluation done to see if I’m a bipolar two. I read up on it and it fits me to a tee.
      You ever wonder what being normal feels like Mother Hen? Must be pretty boring not to have your marbles rolling around all the time, huh? Ha..ha.. Ah well, at least I have all my crazy-ass friends to keep me company.

  3. You’ve expressed the desolation so well! I went through more than a year of depression years ago when my children were young. At the time it felt endless and at one point I even considered ending it myself. I made it through, though, and vowed to never let myself slide so far down into that hole again. I’ve found that, while I can’t control the depression, I can recognize it in time to do something to minimize its effect. While hormones and metabolism play a big part, I think what triggers it is different for different people, and for me it’s when I’m overwhelmed by responsibilities. I’m a person who craves solitude and privacy, and my lifestyle has always pulled me in the opposite direction.

    Kudos for acknowledging depression’s presence and being determined to cope. Indulge yourself on the return journey.

    • Thanks Carol. I think for me one of my worst triggers is when I begin to feel I have no control over a situation that I’m not satisfied with. Right now I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place concerning certain things that are happening in my personal life, things I am tired of dealing with that seem to have no easy resolution, and rather than keep hurting it’s easier for me to just temporarily ‘shut-down’. I know eventually something has to give and I’m going to be forced to make some very hard choices, but for now I just want to bury my head in the sand and wait till I’m strong enough. I’m coming around though. And I’m thinking the hormone thing plays a big part in it. Menopause is just the worst! It’s like dousing someone with gasoline when they’re already on fire. Sorry for the visual…but it feels that way sometimes.

  4. Rose Ribbon says:

    Hope you’re doing ok…. sometimes I don’t want to leave the house, either. I find the more I stay in the worse it gets. I also find when I take a break from exercising that i get like that, too. I get more and more lazy, and want to leave the house less and less…

    • I’m doing fine, and I know what you’re saying. I only indulge myself so much in a pity-party before rising up and making myself get shit done like I should. Still, I find I require that bit of a break to wrap my head around things, and if I don’t and push myself too hard it makes me sicker. I am master of my own boat, been rowing it for a while now, and know what it takes to keep it afloat. This is more than I was once able to say, so I guess I truly must be healing. I too have heard exercise is good and helps depression, but can’t seem to get my cranky ass motivated. Umm..I think they call that laziness!

  5. you’re not expected to appease others anymore than someone sick with cancer should be expected to make things easier on those around them.

    I’m pretty sure you know how I feel about this, but I wanted to say it anyway:
    Amen.

    Take care of yourself however you can, Lou, and don’t be too hard on yourself on the days where that involves lying in bed dreaming or mourning. Love you, fierce, beautiful, soulful lady.

    • Deb, as usual your words lift me up. I know you understand more than most the pain of dealing with depression from all sides. It’s important to respect it and recognize it for what it is, and move on taking control of it before it gets a chance to control you.
      I heard of Amy Winehouse’s death the other day. Just another aspect of depression that results in addiction. I was truly saddened by this loss. Her voice was amazing and she could’ve done so much with her life if only she hadn’t succumbed to her own despair. Addiction is never the real problem. The real problem is where addiction stems from. I know this. My son is an addict. He wasn’t born that way. There was depression that created the need to escape from reality. Creative people especially have a hard time dealing with reality, because their mind is always so busy and the ideas moving around constantly exhaust them. I believe this is why so many actors, musicians, writers, painters, etc.. fall victim to depression. I believe this is why so many bloggers can empathize with my pain. It’s just exhausting being brilliant, isn’t it? Ha..ha.. Sorry, I crack jokes to break up the seriousness sometimes. Still, there is more than an ounce of truth to it. It sucks having all that shit going on inside your head at times.

  6. What always appals me is how easy (and fast) the fall into the black pit of depression is, and how much bloody hard work it is to drag yourself out again. And yeah, snap out of it sucks. Nobody says hop to it to a person with a broken leg.
    Be kind to yourself in the climb back to health. Hugs from afar.

    • Thank you hon. I’m already starting to feel a little better. It always helps when I force myself to purge these feelings and get them down on paper…or in this case my blog. And yes, the drop down to the bottom is hard and fast, but climbing up seems like scaling a mountain at times. Fortunately I haven’t allowed it to get really bad in a long time, so this is a cakewalk compared to where I’ve been before. Thanks for the kind words and cyber-hug, my friend. Well noted!

  7. Ed Williams says:

    Hey Lou…
    I believe what is truly amazing, is that for someone who has been diagnosed with clinical depression, you STILL have this incredible capacity to delve deep into your mind, your heart to extract these words… this soulful explanation of what it is you feel… to be able to share that like you do… is a gift. Plain and simple.
    I too have had my own struggles with the disease and like you have come to realize its impending beginnings, its dark, black middle and the light at the end of its tunnel. I too have realized that I sometimes “get stuck” in a place (sometimes for months!) that just doesn’t seem to want to move.
    I have learned to use that blackness to MOTIVATE me into constant evolution. It’s difficult. It’s ALOT of work and energy when I barely can fall out of bed. And hopefully you don’t eff up any relationships you have along the way.
    Keep pushing Lou. You have a talent that is far above most. Write that book… or at a minimum… outline it. Dig deeper still into that beautiful person that you are an find the light again. My “word” that gets me there is pretty simple really… FAITH.
    Best wishes.
    Ed

    • Oh Ed, if only I had a little version of yourself to sit on my shelf and motivate me with your words everyday, all would be well with me.
      I had to chuckle at your little ‘eff up relationships’ comment. I’ve blown through more relationships than I can count because of my mood swings. That, and being unhealthy I seem to attract the like. They either need fixed or want to fix me. ((sigh)) I always laugh and say I’m like that song, “She ain’t pretty, she just looks that way.” Sadly men are stupid by nature. I inform them all in the beginning that they don’t want me, I have baggage, but their egos tell them they can soothe the savage beast. My current husband seems to be dealing with it better than any other had. I guess time will tell if he can go the distance. And yes, faith in oneself is sooo important, isn’t it?

      • Ed Williams says:

        LOL…Lou… you’re the THIRD person within a weeks time that has wished to have a mini version of me on a shelf, in a pocket and one in a purse. Maybe my calling is to invent a little Ken doll (well… a more “mature” version) with a pull ring that speaks words of encouragement and wisdom. I just hope if and when I have that doll made (in some third world country with little Asian children) that they make it anatomically correct dammit… just because THEY’re not well endowed in the Far East shouldn’t mean the rest of us should suffer right?! LOL.
        ANYwho… I’ll make sure to sign the doll I send to you in a totally inappropriate location. THANK YOU AS ALWAYS for sharin’ the heart love. Don’t ever stop. ox
        Ed

        • Spectra says:

          Hey, Ed, can I get one of those, too?

        • A little Ed doll….Groovy, baby! I want my anatomically correct doll in a ‘magnum’ size, with chest hair and some tats. Oh hell…let’s go crazy…give him two penis’s! Ha…ha.. Did I just say that aloud? Um…my-fucking-bad!
          Okay, and in case you don’t catch the reply from Spectra who jumped in on here, she wants one too. I say we start a damn Ed assembly line!
          Just love ya babe! 😉

  8. Spectra says:

    Well said. I find summer heat can be the trigger, as well, the indoors isolation, where it is still too too hot. I then get to feeling helpless about some of these things that I have no current controll over. Not feeling in controll of your life can really be a source of deep angst as well.

    I know you will feel better when you feel better and not before. You are so right about not letting yourself feel responsible for others feelings around you, and the guilt that follows from that. I hadn’t actually seen this aspect of depression elucidated this way before. It is so true. My prayers are with you.

    • Thanks babe. Yeah, the heat and isolation just adds to the funk, I admit. It gives you too much idle time to look around and see the problems at hand. I’ll soon tire of feeling sorry for myself and will get my ass in gear and get through it. I always do. My mind has conditioned itself to where I only allow so much before I get good and pissed that I’m wallowing, and when that happens Pissy Kitty rears her ugly head. I don’t know what’s worse on my family, my being depressed or a bitch. Ha..ha..

  9. Gravitas says:

    You always have something well thought out to post in comments. And now, when you need it too, I wanted to do the same. Yet I find that I haven’t got any wisdom to give. At least nothing I believe in strongly enough to lend that aire of hope. All I have to offer is empathy. — I know what you’re talking about.

    • I know you understand, and empathy is all I need. Thank you. There isn’t anything that anyone could say that I haven’t heard before or haven’t told myself. Just knowing that there are those of you out there that ‘get’ me, makes a difference. Being alone with depression is worse than the depression itself. Feeling no one understands and that you’re emotionally ostracized from everyone else, is worse yet. Fortunately I have all of you now, and no longer feel this way. There is healing and power in numbers. I hope you use your blog for that purpose too. I think you’re absolutely fabulous and have something very important to share. Don’t doubt it for one moment.

  10. Jodi Lea says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve been a victim of the demon depression. That f#%$^&! demon likes to mess with me too – another thing I inherited from my mom besides the bad teeth and curvy legs – Ha! Take good care of yourself and give yourself a break!

    • I’m trying. It’s just another one of my spells that I have to deal with till it passes. And I understand about inheritance. My mom too. Of course back then they blamed it on everything and anything but depression. I believe she was clinically depressed as well as bipolar 2. Truth be known, I am also probably undiagnosed bipolar. Ahh..the joy of living with mental illness.

  11. ohhh Lou! Get better soon. Miss talking to ya, but it seems my life is getting so busy, or maybe I am just finally waking up to what needs to be done haha! Flower beds, dishes, laundry, teaching, playing, posting… uuuughhhhh get better soon!! I hope your doggie doesn’t stay mad at you long, maybe he needs some bologna 🙂 Miss you ❤ I shall write you soon to catch you up on what is going on.

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying your summer, hon. Being busy is good. And don’t worry about me. Writing it all down is a good thing. Worrying should be left for when someone has nothing left to say…that’s when they give up. I’m far from being at a lack for words. I have plenty more life left in me, I’m just blogging through the blues while trying to live it. I miss chatting with you too. Drop me a line when you get time.

  12. siggiofmaine says:

    Thank you for your eloquent sharing…you have the words that so aptly explain what I am unable to ….and a lot of wisdom to go with the words

    As a RN, people would ask why I would share that I was clinically depressed….people would look down on me and think less of me. I believe that there are people we know that are hiding a clinical depression because they think they are the “only ones” and that the “buck up” and “get over it” responses are the gospel and they are “failures” because they cannot “get a grip” and cheer up.

    Thank you for so clearly describing how you feel and that it isn’t hopeless…if will pass….sometimes with medication. There is a physical reason that many people are depressed…it is not “all in ones head”…Thank you for letting people know that there is hope and “real people” have depression.

    ☮ ♥ Siggi in Downeast Maine

    • I’m glad you share your story of depression. You being an RN I have to assume you have more access to those that need to hear your story that are suffering through the same, than not. A person doesn’t have to be clinically depressed to experience severe depression, and illness can trigger depression quicker than anything. Who better to empathize with those than one who understands firsthand? I know that those who were once abused make the best domestic abuse advocates. Those who have struggled under substance abuse and recovered make the best drug/alcohol counselors. I know I wouldn’t want to seek guidance from someone who didn’t understand but read shit out of a textbook. I applaud you for stepping out from behind shame and telling others that you’ve dealt with being sick, that it sucks, but it will pass and for them to hang in there. Don’t listen to others who tell you to still your voice. If everyone listened to that kind of nonsense there would be no one willing to give help to others and we’d all fall victim to suicide. Good for you!

  13. mairedubhtx says:

    I well know how clinical depression is. I’m going through my own bout of it right now. My reading load has increased significantly. Depression is horrible and I’m glad you realize it will get better. Meds do help some, at least mine do, but not enough to make me normal. I hope your depression lifts soon but just roll with it as best you can. Poor Hound Day. He’ll forgive you soon.

    • Well, I handle my depression much better than I used to. At least now I don’t let these spells convince me that all is futile and I should throw in the towel, but rather see them for the temporary ‘horrible’ things they are. It sucks being sick, doesn’t it? I not only have never been normal, but because I don’t know what normal feels like have never had the luxury of missing it. Sad, huh? Try to explain that to someone who’s emotionally healthy and its impossible. The worst part, as I said, is when you allow others to make you feel guilty because you can’t just conjure up happiness or some shit. I don’t let them do that to me anymore. This is just the way I am, the only responsibility I should take for it is to do the best I can to control it, and I won’t be made to feel a hypochondriac, naysayer, pessimist, etc…just because others can’t accept that it’s a real illness because they can’t ‘see’ it, and have never suffered from it. I sympathize with you, I truly do. I know it’s exhausting to work through it on a daily basis. I have to believe though that something good can come from this damn illness of mine, and hope perhaps someday a great book can come out of it. You know…turn this grove of lemons into a lemonade business. 😉

      • siggiofmaine says:

        This is a PS…I was writing my comments for the 30 days of truth and realized I don’t have the words to express how it feels to be depresssed…and I referred people in my blog to your words of wisdom on the subject. I hope you don’t mind…should you mind, I’ll change my post.

        Sincerely,

        ☮ ♥ Siggi in Downeast Maine

        • Anything I write is up for grabs. I don’t know how eloquent it may read, but if one other person reads it and gets something out of it, than I’m more than happy to share. I don’t want anyone to live with this sickness alone. Having to do that is worse than dealing with the sickness itself.